A Column to Detangle the World of Fashion and Politics
Starting in 2000, Nike has had a division dedicated to the promotion of sports and their advantages among Aboriginal and Native American communities in the United States and Canada. The branch, named N7, is inspired by the idea that the impact of our choices over the next seven generations should be contemplated when determining our current course of action. Since then, Nike has begun producing footwear explicitly for Native American communities until 2009 when the collection expanded to the general consumer market, with the entire lines’ revenue going to youth sport and physical activity programs within these Native American communities.
Released on November 7th, this season’s line was in collaboration with Taboo Nawasha. While his name may sound unfamiliar, he is actually a member of one of the most prevalent bands of our childhood: the Black Eyed Peas. Taboo has an impressive career as a dancer, singer, philanthropist, and rising DJ; he was also the first Native American to perform at the Super Bowl halftime show in 2011.
In discussion of the influence of his Native American heritage, Taboo sites traditional dances in Eastern LA, which he was exposed to at a young age by his grandmother, and he has since consciously been integrating the attire of the dancers into his own wardrobe and the ceremonial dances into his moves. Evidence of this is apparent in his N7 line, and it is seen in its color scheme of earthly tones and beadwork inspired design. His integration of the cultures into his personal self-expression has given him confidence and esteem of his cultural ancestry, which N7 strives to advance.
The line is available for purchase on Nike’s website or in certain locations, and profits go towards supporting the N7 fund.